MeiLin's blog

Chapter length

  • Posted on: 17 August 2008
  • By: MeiLin

A conversation over at Web Fiction Guide got me thinking. An average chapter here is right around 2000 words, sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less, but usually right between 1700-2200 words. Some people over there think that's too long for a serial, that people don't want to spend 10 minutes reading a chapter. I find that odd, myself, but then, I'm a lot older than most of you guys and probably have different reading habits.

So I'm polling: Short chapters and more updates, longer chapters and fewer updates, or things the way they are? And by "short," I'm talking about 500-700 words, essentially a brief scene. It'd essentially mean that the average installment here would be split up over three or so update days rather than one day, so I could update five times a week--but you'd be getting the same amount of story, and it'd feel disjointed to me. At this point, I'm really just more curious about what people like, perhaps for the next serial ("50" or "Laney"), because I don't see the History changing.

A Tidbit of Temmin

  • Posted on: 17 August 2008
  • By: MeiLin

We've met the target for this week's chapter and a little more, but artwork ain't cheap. To encourage folks to kick in extra for Alice, I'm posting a little snippet of her raw sketch of Temmin:

If you want to see this study finished (and you do, believe me), and if you want me to be able to put a down payment on Allis and Issak's study, kick a little extra in the pot this week. Even a dollar helps. Thanks.

Furthermore from the Box of Squee: Marguerite

  • Posted on: 16 August 2008
  • By: MeiLin

Oh, Marguerite. I had such hopes for you. After all, you are:

Rose, rose geranium, myrrh, ylang ylang, French gardenia, tuberose, red sandalwood, and palmarosa.

Rose! Ylang ylang! Tuberose! Red sandalwood! You've got to be awesome, right?

Sadly, no. First on, all I get is rose geranium and the myrrh, which has killed more than one BPAL for me (Bilquis, I'm looking at you). Over time, you fade to rose headshop incense. And while it conjures up a certain period in my youth, that period sucked and makes me glad I'm an old lady now.

Swap box. The only Grindhouse that has worked out for me was the main scent of the madam. That is awesome and sexy and I'll be getting a bottle. But not one of the ladies has worked out, and so far none of the Wunderkammers either. And I'm so glad! I'm going to have to seriously winnow down what I want into what I have to have, because right now it's 8 bottles and if I have to choose between artwork for the story and BPAL, which I do, the story wins. And I couldn't ever justify that many bottles, anyway.

Today from the Box of Squee: Licwiglunga

  • Posted on: 16 August 2008
  • By: MeiLin

Googling reveals that "licwiglunga" means "incantations to the dead." At BPAL it's part of the Wunderkammer section of the Carnavale Diabolique, and with the unfortunate scholar's notes is described thusly:

What language is this? I have never seen graphemes such as this before.

Hemp paper, frankincense, dried pomegranate juice, lavender, gum mastic, verbena, fennel, star anise, and Dittany of Crete.

In the imp: Indian food?!

Wet: Fennel, star anise, and what I think is the mastic. Very odd.

Dry: Damn, I smell like Indian food, I swear! As it dries down further, a citrus-y, sharp fruit scent begins to build. This is a real morpher, and in an hour will be even more different I'm betting.

This is a unisex scent; on a man or woman with the right skin chemistry this would be amazing. I am not that woman. It's not bad at all but it's not me. I'll say this: It's unique; I haven't smelled anything like it in BPAL's or anyone else's offerings. If you're looking for different, pick this one up.

This goes to swaps.

Once More from the Box of Squee: Dionysia

  • Posted on: 15 August 2008
  • By: MeiLin

Sir made me wash off the Marianne, it was that bad. So now I can move on to Dionysia:

Wild plum, pomegranate, raspberry, Siamese benzoin, plum blossom, patchouli, frankincense, and mahogany.

In the imp: A fruit merchant chased by a hippie.

Wet: Really awful patchouli.

Dry: Ah, more like it. The fruits come out and the patchouli lies down and makes a nice bed for the resins and woods. The raspberry is definitely the top note.

This is all right, but it goes in the "keep" box, not the "buy" box. You know, these Grindhouse ladies are striking out on me, which is fine considering all the Snake Pits I want to get. Not to even mention the Halloweenies. Really, there's something wrong with me, I sometimes think. Perfoom. huh.

Today from the Box of Squee: Marianne

  • Posted on: 15 August 2008
  • By: MeiLin

Another Grindhouse gal, Marianne is:

Red musk, bergamot, black currant, mimosa, orchid, patchouli, and lotus root.

This is one of the darkest imps I've ever seen; the oil is nearly black.

In the imp: At first, a rich, sweet tropical floral and then a sharp patchouli.

Wet: Wow, this is way different than I expected. Dry patchouli, almost bone-dry, with a whiff of Chinese restaurant--that's the only words I have for it.

Dry: Soap. No1 and No2 like it but Sir has pronounced it soap and I rather concur. I think it's the orchid.

Trade box.

Today from the--holy crap!

  • Posted on: 15 August 2008
  • By: MeiLin

The Halloweenies and Lunacy went up last night and yikes! I'm going to have to sell some smellies or do another six-day-update drive or sell my blood or something here. It's not even funny. I'm in three decant circles for the scents I want and caved and bought bottles of the two Black Moons, Hellhound on My Trail (the Robert Johnson commemorative) and Sugar Skull, which I've wanted since last year. I'm a fool for the brown sugar scents, as is No1 Daughter; we'll probably fight over the bottle.

But! Sir is finally going through his decants before the CDs go off sale. This morning, he put on Blockhead, which I've already reviewed on my skin. It's described as "Rusted metal, leather, and a pop of pink bubblegum."

His review: "I really, really like this." That's a long review from him. He's not a man of few words, but he rarely says more than "eh" or "ooh" when it comes to perfoom. Except Death Cap. That was a no words review. ahem.

My review: Holy crap. I may have just found Sir's Death Cap. I'm still shaking. I'm surprised; I thought his scent would have more leather and tobacco, but no, apparently his skin chemistry really likes Dubble Bubble and my nose really likes his skin chemistry on Blockhead. phew. I think I need a cold shower...

A little transparency: Where some of the money is going

  • Posted on: 14 August 2008
  • By: MeiLin

I've been blessed with two large donations in the last few days that will allow me to do something I've wanted to do for a while: Commission some artwork. The artist I chose has also done work for Sarah Suleski, and I was so impressed with her portfolio and her web comic that I immediately hired her for an initial character study.

She is, of course, Alice Fox, and the first study she's doing for us is of the Teacher. Temmin is next. I'll be putting up a poll to see which character should be after that. And I may be setting up a special sponsorship challenge for people who want studies of more of the characters sooner than later. We'll see.

Update: I got the first proof back of Teacher's portrait, and it's going to knock your socks off.

Today from the Box of Squee: Faeu Boulanger

  • Posted on: 14 August 2008
  • By: MeiLin

Another from the Wunderkammer section of the Carnaval, here comes Faeu Boulanger, which, thanks to the lovely Wikipedia, turns out to be another term for will o' the wisp:

In Guernsey, the light is known as the faeu boulanger (rolling fire), and is believed to be a lost soul. On being confronted with the spectre, tradition prescribes two remedies. The first is to turn one's cap or coat inside out. This has the effect of stopping the faeu boulanger in its tracks. The other solution is to stick a knife into the ground, blade up. The faeu, in an attempt to kill itself, will attack the blade.

The fragrance is described, with the scholar's notes, as:

I thought this was an effect of bioluminescence, but it seems there is no source. Could it truly be a soul trapped within this glass dome? Impossible.

Mushroom gases, swamp mist, green mint, and bog violet.

In the imp: Overpoweringly sweet violet, to the point of melon.

Wet: Did I mention this was sweet? A hint of herbal green peeks out.

Dry: Almost disappears like its namesake, leaving behind a wisp of green violet. I smell no earthy or aquatic notes from the swamp mists and mushroom gases.

This isn't bad, but it's not really me. Into the swap box.

Today from the Box of Squee: The Contract of Theophilus of Adana

  • Posted on: 13 August 2008
  • By: MeiLin

Yet more dire wackiness from Carnaval Diabolique, this is one of the Wunderkammer scents. I was curious enough about this curio that I looked up Theophilus of Adana at Wikipedia, which tells me the legend is the oldest variant of the "contract with the devil" myth:

Theophilus was the archdeacon of Adana, Cilicia which is part of modern Turkey. He was unanimously elected to be a bishop, but turned the position down out of humility. Another man was elected in his stead. When the new bishop unjustly deprived Theophilus of his position as archdeacon, Theophilus regretted his humility and sought out a wizard to help him contact Satan. In exchange for his aid, Satan demanded that Theophilus renounce Christ and the Virgin Mary in a contract signed with his own blood. Theophilus complied, and the devil gave him the position as bishop.

Years later, fearful for his soul, Theophilus repented and prayed to the Virgin for forgiveness. After forty days of fasting, the Virgin appeared to him and verbally chastised him. Theophilus begged forgiveness and Mary promised to intercede with God. He then fasted a further thirty days, at which time Mary appeared to him again, and granted him Absolution. However, Satan was unwilling to relinquish his hold over Theophilus, and it was a further three days before Theophilus awoke to find the damning contract on his chest. He then took the contract to the legitimate bishop and confessed all that he had done. The bishop burned the document, and Theophilus expired, out of sheer joy to be free from the burden of his contract.

Dear me.

The perfume is described, with the notation from the unfortunate scholar's journal:

I dare not open this scroll. Temptation is the plague of men's spirits.

Parchment, Siamese benzoin, infernal incense, red musk, brimstone, and daemonorops.

In the imp: Benzoin, incense and something sweet, the dragon's blood resin one assumes (that's daemonorops).

Wet: The same.

Dry: Benzoin, dragon's blood, musk, incense.

This is a dragon's blood I can wear. I tend to amp it so much that I can't wear it; it's overpowering. But with the musk and benzoin, and the smokiness from the incense, it's just at the level it should be.

Sir says, "eh, it's okay." So we keep the imp but no bottle. Saved again.

Today from the Box of Squee: Agrat-Bat-Mahlaht

  • Posted on: 12 August 2008
  • By: MeiLin

This Grindhouse lady is described as:

Amber, cream accord, white honey, apple blossom, skin musk, caramel, and teak.

I am hoping for apples and honey (oh gods, can someone please make me a tangy apple honey scent? I would BATHE in it).

In the imp: Cream, and a scent that reminds me of's elusive, and it's going to drive me nuts until I remember what it is, this little sharp "hook" of smell at the very top that I know I have smelled before in a very specific instance, and yet I can't quite grasp was very long ago, early childhood, I think...

Wet: Cream, honey, amber, caramel.

Dry: Amber, cream, musk, here comes the teak. No apple blossom. Sad Honey at the base. It's beautiful, but it reminds me of Glowing Vulva at Ryogoku Bridge (you can't make these names up, folks), which I already have. The perfume, not the glowing vulva.

And judging by Sir's reaction, this is one more imp to keep but not a bottle to buy. phew.

Tonight from the Box of Squee: Bezoar

  • Posted on: 12 August 2008
  • By: MeiLin

Another CD, Bezoar is described in the sketchbook as:

Much smoother in texture than I had thought it would be. How does one employ it?
Copaiba balsam, Tolu balsam, hay absolute, cardamom, and hiba wood.

In the imp: Cardamom and balsam.

Wet: owie! My skin doesn't like something in this.

Dry: Spicy woods, heavy on the balsam, sweetened by the hay and cardamom. This would go well on either a man or a woman.

Sir doesn't like it, so that settles it.

Today from the Box of Squee: Aeronwen

  • Posted on: 11 August 2008
  • By: MeiLin

Oh, squee box, how I have missed you. I feel as if I've been gone for months, not days.

I just got the decants I've been waiting for, for months: 13 Grindhouse ladies and 10 Wunderkammer oddities from the Carnaval. The series comes down some time in September, which means I have just a few days to try 23 fragrances. aaagh! So let's get to it. I'm going to try two a day, starting with Aeronwen:

Fig, dark myrrh, amber, redwood, nutmeg, tarragon, black musk, and sweet orange.

In the imp: A hit of Fig Newton, right off the top, followed by the orange and then the musk.

Wet: The fig first, overshadowed by the myrrh, which I was afraid of; usually myrrh is too bitter on me. It's what ruined Bilquis for me. I can't smell anything over the fig and myrrh.

Dry: Now I'm picking up a bitter herbal scent, the tarragon, I think. It's morphing a little sweeter as time goes by. It's so blended I can't tell what I'm smelling now, but overall the effect is not exciting.

Hm. This isn't a "do not want," but I won't be putting it on the bottle list. I think this may go into the trade box. If this had stayed as it was in the imp, fruity and dark, I would've loved it. Ah well.


  • Posted on: 10 August 2008
  • By: MeiLin

I'm back from my little vaca and working on Tuesday's chapter, in which we get Issak and Allis ready for the Spectacle. I've been writing the next little arc of story in my head (I've been away from the computer) and I hope you like what I've come up with.

While I was gone, I read a lot. I finally finished "Good Omens." Hee. much love. And I read "Snow, Glass, Apples" finally, Mr Gaiman's horrific (in the good sense) re-imagining of Snow White. Both made me go, "Why am I bothering" and "Jeebus, I want to write RIGHT NOW," which is my usual reaction to good writing. (You should have seen what happened after I finished "His Dark Materials.")

And I read an Anita Blake series book by Laurell K. Hamilton, "The Harlequin." I found it at the supermarket, so it's like the 738th one in the series of 739 Anita Blake books (slight exaggeration), and picked it up since a lot of you guys like Hamilton. Right now I'm at the "hm" stage. I think I need to read some of the earlier ones, because at this point, I'm wondering what the fuss is about. Not that she can't write or doesn't have an imagination--hoo boy, does she ever--but I'm thinking that from what I've read it'd make an awesome serial. In fact, I guess that's really what it is, in book form, which I find irritating.

Jumping in at the middle is underwhelming. (

Spoiler: Highlight to view
Anita is apparently irresistible, has six absolutely devoted lovers who are exclusive to her, accumulates new ones like the underside of my bed accumulates dust bunnies, and has a long line of men yearning to make her their one and only--for me, this is the real fantasy aspect of the books, not the vampires and werewolves and wererats and, I kid you not, wereswans--excuse me, swanmanes.
) It's also probably unfair. But I'm crabby.

It also got me wondering. The Anita Blake books are drenched in sex. And yet the actual words for basic human anatomy, slang or clinical, are never used. "Manhood," "member," "opening," "length," sure. I'm just wondering. Is that what makes me smut and published books "li'tra'ture"--that I call a prick a prick?

Which leads me to the new poll. Hope you all had some "meaningful sex" or at least caught up on laundry while I was away.

Camping bites

  • Posted on: 8 August 2008
  • By: MeiLin

I was supposed to have wifi at this campground--yeah yeah, I know, that would make it NOT camping, but that's the point! I am not a camper, or at least not a happy camper. (Poor Sir, I'm trying to be good but not succeeding.) But we ended up at a different campground and now I don't even have reliable access to electricity. So I'm up the road here just putting out the worst fires before I have to go back and rejoin the Stone Age. Though I suppose they didn't have toilets, showers and inflatable mattresses in the Stone Age, huh? sigh. At least I brought along a huge pile of books and some perfume imps to console me. Oooh! And some chili spiced dried mangos I forgot all about! OK, I can do this. I can go back to that campground and face this.


Anyway, this is the long version of me saying that Tuesday's update will probably be late in the day Tuesday. I was hoping to get some writing done while camping, and that's just not gonna happen.

Today from the Box of Squee: Tiresias the Androgyne

  • Posted on: 4 August 2008
  • By: MeiLin

The last of the Carnaval Diabolique decants to hand that I need to try is Tiresias the Androgyne. (Sir has a handful he needs to try but he's lazy and keeps wearing Frederic.) Tiresias's lengthy description:

Upon the next stage, a spotlight is focused on a mammoth bronze sculpture of two snakes entwined. Their bodies are wrapped around each other in an intimate embrace, and their tongues touch suggestively. The deep, somber boom of a standing bass leads into a twelve-string guitar’s plaintive moan, and as the music swells, a stunning, statuesque woman steps out from behind the statue, her fierce and regal face in profile. The spotlight dims to a deep amber-red, and shines a dark, sanguine light onto her, tinting her long, wild hair the color of blood. She sings:

Sunday is gloomy, my hours are slumberless.
Dearest, the shadows I live with are numberless.
Little white flowers will never awaken you,
Not where the black coach of sorrow has taken you.
Angels have no thought of ever returning you.
Would they be angry if I thought of joining you?
Gloomy Sunday.

She turns, and abruptly faces left. Her features are coarser, more masculine, and you notice the rough, dusky shadow of an evening beard on the singer’s face. On this side, the hair is cropped short, and as s/he sighs and begins the next verse, you hear the voice deepen to a weathered, sorrowful baritone.

Gloomy is Sunday; with shadows I spend it all.
My heart and I have decided to end it all.
Soon there'll be candles and prayers that are sad, I know.
Death is no dream, for in death I'm caressing you.
With the last breath of my soul I'll be blessing you.
Gloomy Sunday.

The singer turns to face the audience, and your senses reel. On the left side, the features are sharp, but feminine. You can see the curve of her breast, the soft fullness of her hips, the arch of her fine brow. On the right, it is the body of an Adonis, muscular and commanding. You see that a thick seam runs down the center of the body, stitched roughly.

Though the vision is disconcerting, the warmth and passion in the singer’s voice swells inside your heart, and you are spellbound. Enraptured, you realize that though the gender is opposed on either side, one soul binds the whole.

Dark, moody, and bittersweet: black currant, patchouli, tobacco, cinnamon leaf, caramel, muguet, and red sandalwood.

OK, promising. I love all the notes.

In the imp: Patchouli and caramel, a dirty, round, spicy scent.

Wet: Tobacco, a lovely pipe tobacco. I love that smell. It reminds me of my grandpa, and I used to smoke a pipe myself way back when (can't anymore). Smells of Cavendish tobacco, lush and dark.

Dry: Stays remarkably the same.

Sir doesn't care for it because he doesn't like pipe tobacco. I LOVE pipe tobacco, but I can live with just the imp of this. So yay! a CD I don't have to buy! (Now watch, I'll change my mind once this is impossible to find. ah well.)

Hiatus thoughts

  • Posted on: 1 August 2008
  • By: MeiLin

I FEEL SO DULL. I'm in that phase of a vacation/break where I'm restless and not sure what to do with myself. The paid work is coming along. I don't have the materials I need to really get cranking, which makes me nervous, but I've gotten quite a bit done even so.

I've been thinking a lot during the break about web serials as a form. The impending closure of Pages Unbound has only accelerated this. (Meta note while I'm thinking about it: If you've reviewed the History at Pages, please consider re-reviewing it at Web Fiction Guide. A good activity for the hiatus. I'll be marking the current review marketing target as fulfilled and starting over for reviews at WFG, just so I can easily keep track.)

It bothers me so much that so many great web serials don't have a reader base or community built up around them and I do--apparently unwarranted, according to the latest editorial review at WFG. It's just my mad web skillz, I guess, pullin' da wool over your eyes.

I want that to change. I want great serials, like the ones I regularly read, to have HUGE fan bases. Writers with a lot more cred and chops than me, and who've been doing it a lot longer, have much smaller audiences than I do. And that ain't right. So how can I help?

One thing that I've been thinking about for some time is starting up hosting for other web serialists that would include the community-building elements of this site--elements that most people cannot get on a single platform, but have to patch together using two or three pieces of software. I've been trying to figure out how to do this cost-effectively, and I think I've hit on it.

I own the domain(s) I am going to use .org for collecting demographic info for the members of the Digital Novelists Blogads Network. But here I have .com just hangin' around. Why not turn it to hosting?

A couple of months ago I floated the idea of $15/mo hosting and was shot down. This is open source software, I can get free hosting at blogspot, blah blah blah. So here's what I came up with: Three different options.

1) A custom, free Drupal distro for web serials. I have to figure out how to get a distro up there, but I'm sure at the least I could put a list up of what modules I use and leave it at that. Your responsibility to find hosting that will accept Drupal, your responsibility to install it, your responsibility to configure it. (If anyone wants this NOW, leave a comment and I'll put the module list up somewhere.)

2) Free hosting at in exchange for a non-negotiable-placement ad block on your site and a one-time set-up fee of $15.

3) Hosting at or your own domain for a one-time set-up fee of $15 and $15/mo thereafter. No ad box from me.

All three options offer all the basic features this site has; you will have to utilize them yourself. Options #2 and #3 would include a number of themes, many of which are easily customizable with your graphics and colors through a set of web controls. Any actual coding kinds of customization of either modules or themes would have to be done by me, and it wouldn't be free.

Thoughts, flames, etc, go for it.

Today from the Box of Squee: Saw-Scaled Viper

  • Posted on: 1 August 2008
  • By: MeiLin

I think I should just give up and order all of the Snake Pits and get it over with. So far, they're all killah. Today was Saw-Scaled Viper:

Snake Oil with cinnamon, cassia, and red ginger.

In the imp: Gah! Not at all what I expected. At first I couldn't pick out the individual notes; it was a big swamp o' spicy dirt. OK that makes no sense, but that's what it was. When I re-sniffed it after looking at the notes, I can smell the cassia and ginger, especially the ginger, right off the top.

Wet: No Snake Oil at all--strictly cassia and ginger, then cinnamon. Too much! Do not like!

Dry: Here comes the vanilla of the Snake Oil, finally. In the early stages of drydown, I had Sir sniff. "Oh, god, that's great! Cinnamon vanilla! Wow! I really like that!"

sigh. I was hoping we wouldn't like this one. Into the purchase box, and then there were seven. I'm gonna hafta knock over a bank or sumpin.

Today from the Box of Squee: Banded Sea Snake

  • Posted on: 31 July 2008
  • By: MeiLin

I will get through these Caranaval Diaboliques if it kills me, or at least my nose. And you know, since I wasn't able to buy a bottle of Snow Glass Apples, the description of which by Mr Gaiman got me into BPAL in the first place, perhaps it's for the best, a part of me wails inconsolably. I wallow in sorrow, but I wasn't going to spend $50 for it, even with a limited edition chapbook of the Gaiman story that inspired it. sigh. I wanted to smell like a sexy vampire apple.

Ah well. Onward:

Snake Oil with oakmoss, sea moss, and olive leaf.

(Snake Oil, you'll recall, is "vanilla with Indonesian spices.")

In the imp: Mossy spice. (I suppose that would be my Spice Girl name, considering I'm from Oregon.)

Wet: Snake Oil and nothin' but.

Dry: This turns into a soft, lush, pillowy, spicy green vanilla that will be KILLAH aged. Sir was going "Oooooh, I like that." So into the purchase box.

dang. How am I going to buy all these CDs before they go away?! *sob* it's not fair!

Today from the Padded Envelope of Squee: Thalassa the Galapagos Mermaid

  • Posted on: 30 July 2008
  • By: MeiLin

An envelope with a bunch of Carnaval Diabolique decants arrived today, some snakes and some of the earlier acts that I missed. I chose at random from them and pulled out Thalassa the Galapagos Mermaid:

A massive glass tank is positioned on the stage, decorated with a rough canvas painting of sand and sea. Within the tank, you see a swirl of ivory, coral, and russet. After a few rushed passes, the furiously moving creature slows and makes her way towards the glass. As she approaches, you see that her features are lovely and delicate, and though her pearl-adorned torso is that of a beautiful, slender woman, her bewitching face is crowned by lethal spikes and instead of legs she has a writhing serpentine tail. Upon spotting you, her dorsal spikes flare, and she sneers maliciously. She slaps the face of the tank with her powerful tail, and you hear the distinctive sound of the glass cracking under the strain.

Seaweed, kelp, salty ocean spray, bitter almond, night-blooming jasmine, frankincense, and benzoin.



Well, we'll see what happens.

In the imp: I almost don't smell anything. It's the faintest scent of the sea.

Wet: No almond. The jasmine and benzoin are at the front (I tend to amp them both), with the seaweed and oceanic scents right behind. It's very aquatic.

Dry: Still no almond! yay! But. This isn't really me. It's pretty, but it's one of the more generic-smelling BPALs; it's like too many other perfumes out there in the mall, and that's not what I go to BPAL for. It's in No1Daughter's box now.

Today from the Box of Squee: Mouse's Long and Sad Tale

  • Posted on: 29 July 2008
  • By: MeiLin

Today's scent is a common favorite of BPAL fans. Most people who know me--a vanilla, amber and sandalwood freak--are amazed I haven't dug it out of the squee box by now. Mouse's Long and Sad Tale is from The Mad Tea Party section of the General Catalog and is described as:

Vanilla, two ambers, sweet pea and white sandalwood.

In the imp: Sweet pea and vanilla.

Wet: Amber initially, but the vanilla catches up since I amp it.

Dry: Here comes the sandalwood. I get all the notes except the sweet pea, which is being swallowed by the vanilla, amber and sandalwood thanks to my chemistry. The sweet pea is still there; it's just far in the background.

Into the purchase box.


  • Posted on: 29 July 2008
  • By: MeiLin

I'm reading Wysteria's Tapestry and I can't stop. It's good. If you like History you'd like Tapestry. Go read it. And I'm not just saying that because of tonight's sillyfic (link won't be live for another 15 minutes). It's really good.

Today from the Box of Squee: Cockaigne

  • Posted on: 28 July 2008
  • By: MeiLin

In keeping with V's request, I'm not reading the scent description this time. Cockaigne is from the Wanderlust Phantom Islands section of the GC.

In the imp: Buttery. Intensely foody.

Wet: Darkly sweet. Sir said, "What's that smell? It smells like brown sugar in here." A slight nutty scent; in fact, a big hit of nut came at me and almost went almond on me. (Almond Is The Death Note.) It reminds me of some of the dark honeys, like buckwheat honey; that stuff is almost black, and tastes and smells just like it looks.

Dry: A little spice, perhaps nutmeg? comes out, but it's still overwhelmingly brown sugar/honey with a little butter.

Okay, let's look at the notes, shall we?

The weather is always mild, the wine flows freely, sex is readily available, and all people enjoy eternal youth. The Land of Plenty, also called Luilekkerland – the Lazy, Luscious Land: milk and honey, sweet cakes and wine.

Woohoo! Yay for Mei's nose! I definitely get the milk, honey and cakes, but not much of the wine. I don't think this is bottleworthy, but it's a great foodie. I'm not sure if it's going in my box or into one of the little girl boxes (they each have their own now).

Hiatus I has begun, first sillyfic scheduled for Tuesday

  • Posted on: 27 July 2008
  • By: MeiLin

I'm on hiatus starting today and already hard at work on my paid project, but be sure to check in on Tuesday as you normally would for our first History sillyfic by Wysteria, the author of Tapestry. She described it as a medieval fantasy "updated erratically but as often as possible. It's the story of a noblewoman trying to cope with living in what is quite frankly an evil empire, and keep her family safe and sane come theft, fire and flood."

It goes live at midnight PDT just as if it were a regular chapter. You will LOL. Smile

...Speaking of which, LOLcats and other macros that relate to the History would also be accepted as Hiatus fan art, with the 10 x-points that come along with that if I use it. Send your sillyfic, your crackfic, your essays, your LOLcats and your fan art to meilin at this domain to be considered. I'll be around in the blog and forum, but won't be posting chapters until 8/11/08.

Today from the Flower Pot of Squee: Stimulating Sassafras Strengthener

  • Posted on: 27 July 2008
  • By: MeiLin

Recently BPAL opened up two new sections of the General Catalog--the scents that are always on sale rather than the limited editions. It's easy to overlook the GC. The LEs come so often and are so tempting that the next thing you know you have several cases full of LE bottles and decants and have no idea what the GCs smell like. They are under-appreciated.

I got some samples from the two new sections, Phoenix Steamworks and Research Facility (steampunk scents--srsly) and Doc Constantine's Pharmacopoeia. From the latter, today we have Stimulating Sassafras Strengthener:

Valuable in relieving the vapors and in reversing depraved conditions of the system. Doc Constantine's tonics will make you happy, hale and hearty.

Sassafras, vanilla extract, oak leaf, CO2 butter extract, and onycha.

In the imp: Sassafras and oak leaf.

Wet: Root beer barrels!

Dry: This must be what Harry Potter's butterbeer smells like. It's a creamy, vanilla sassafras that would work on men and women. I absolutely love it and will insist on slathering Sir in some of it to see how it goes with him.

See? The General Catalog holds wonders.

Going to sleep

  • Posted on: 26 July 2008
  • By: MeiLin

I'm just fading. Had a good time with the fambly and now I really want to just crawl into bed and go to sleep with Neil Gaiman--er, my Neil Gaiman book. I'm working on "Good Omens" again, after finishing "Neverwhere." So that means no chapter 19 just yet. I tried; the words just ain't coming between yawns. See you in the morning.

Today from the Mailbox of Squee: Chaos Theory IV: XXVI

  • Posted on: 26 July 2008
  • By: MeiLin

How to explain Chaos Theory? Best let the labbies do it:

Each bottle of Chaos Theory is truly unique, a fragrant fractal, and exercise in the joy of chance and uncertainty! Each is a one-of-a-kind, utterly random combination of scents, the composition of which is based on whim, mood and gut instinct. ... The contents of the oils are not recorded [that's the whole point!] ...

I got bottle number XXVI (26), written by hand in gold ink on the bottle.

in the imp: Something sweet but sharp, floral and a little berry. I get the dryer sheet thing another CT'er reported, a little--I know what she's talking about.

Wet: Sweeter and tangier, rose perhaps, and something astringent--slight whiff of mint?! Definite mint. I smell teaberry gum!

Dry: Still that teaberry gum smell--the rose is mostly gone, but a mint lingers, and something tangy and spicy. I can't decipher the notes. It's weird and I like it!

Help me on hiatus, help yourself

  • Posted on: 26 July 2008
  • By: MeiLin

I have a lot of readers. Close to a thousand daily. I'm going on hiatus for a couple of weeks starting after the next update to earn some $$ and pay off some bills dating from when I was critically ill (as in, I died) 2 years ago. Paying gig is go.

However, I would love to have something up for my readers on update days. That's where you come in.

Oh fine, Mei, you're saying, you want me to keep your readers happy? You bet--in exchange for promoting the living shit out of your web novel (if you're a fellow writer), web comic (if you're an artist) or whatever (if you're whatever). If you write or draw something for the hiatus, I will link you like you wouldn't believe and encourage my readers to visit you. Free advertising, essentially.

I'm looking for SHORT, between 300-1000 words. I don't want fanfic, but crackfic would be excellent, especially if you know enough about my serial to do a cross-over with *your* serial (or another fictional universe). Essays would be okay, about the world of the History, a dynamic among characters, or whatever. Fan art is also great--in fact, excellent! If you're a site member, anything you submit that I use is worth 10 x-points. I will NOT use everything submitted.

Deadline is pretty much, uh, now. I'll be on hiatus until 8/11 and will consider anything submitted between now and then. meilin circle-a is where to send stuff. Thanks!


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